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What is the Telios Tip?

The “Telios Tip” is Telios Law’s monthly e-newsletter, providing informative resources, tips, and case updates to help you navigate the ever-changing legal arena. Currently, we offer Telios Tips in three practice areas: Religion & Ministry Law, Appellate & Litigation Practice, and Legal Updates for Businesses. Our Religion & Ministry Law Telios Tip often features updates on the latest cases affecting religious organizations, as well as helpful resources for ministries on a variety of topics. Our Appellate Practice Telios Tip features updates on court rule changes and important case summaries, as well as tips and resources for improving practice before the appellate courts. Finally, our Business Telios Tip provides easy-to-understand and relevant content for businesses looking to make a difference in their community. To take advantage of one, or all, of these free legal resources, sign up using the forms below!

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Destroying Religious Freedom for Everyone

Christians in Rutherford County, Tennessee, have battled for two years against the construction and opening of the Murfreesboro mosque. Not only are the “Christian” actions in Rutherford County unconstitutional, they are short-sighted. If they succeed in changing religious liberty protections for Muslims, they change them for everyone. They are sowing the wind, blithely unaware that when it is time to harvest, all people of faith will reap the whirlwind.

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Third Circuit Supports Church Autonomy

The doctrine of church autonomy, which defines broad areas where civil courts cannot interfere with church decisions, plays an important part in First Amendment free exercise rights. On June 28, 2012, the Third Circuit issued a precedential opinion, Askew v. The Trustees of the General Assembly of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., supporting this doctrine. 

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Mechanics of a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Ministry

personal injuryA claim of negligence against a church or ministry can have very serious consequences. There are many possible types of legal claims: torts, breach of contract, employment claims, intellectual property and so forth.  Because of the potential high value of the claims, and because it is a common type of lawsuit that can take many forms, this post reviews the tort of negligence resulting in a personal injury, with the church or ministry as a defendant.  While individual defendants are usually named, some sort of shared liability with the organization is likely because it has greater financial resources.

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What is the Real Women’s Rights Problem?

Theresa Lynn in the kitchenEach side in the debate over the mandate for insurance for reproductive services grapples with a real problem, but the mandate is only a symbolic solution to the underlying women’s rights issue. The HHS mandate requires businesses, including many religious institutions, to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and some abortifacients. Religious institutions that are morally opposed but not exempt deeply oppose the mandate. The reality is that the mandate creates a free exercise problem without solving a genuine women’s rights issue.

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Bronx Household of Faith--Ten Years of Squabbling Over the First Amendment

In a one-sentence simplistic summary, the Bronx Household of Faith (Church) wants to rent space in the public schools for Sunday meetings, and the New York City Board ofEducation (Board) wants to keep it—and other churches—out.  This dispute has produced over an inch-thick sheaf of judicial opinions over the last ten years, learnedly discussing the intricacies of the clauses of the First Amendment.  New arguments and injunctions (or directives from the court) keep popping up like dandelions, and Judge Preska recently granted yet another preliminary injunction that prevents the Board, for now, from enforcing its policy to keep the Church out.  This post tries to explain how we got “here,” and where “here” is.

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RLUIPA Prison Case Had No Merit

The Third Circuit issued an opinion on February 9, 2012, deciding a prisoner RLUIPA (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act) case that contained an issue of first impression. The importance of this case for future reference will likely be the holding that RLUIPA does not permit government employees to be sued as individuals, but only in their governmental capacity. (The act protects both religious land use, such as for churches in zoning issues, and religious expression in institutions such as prisons.)

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Religious Diversity: Talking in the Shadow of the Liberty Bell

The national dialogue on religious law issues often generates more heat than light. In public debate, speakers stand on a soapbox shouting and cheer-leading their own side.Voices get shrill and invective flies about the “other side.” Let’s take one common example. Free exercise in the public schools touches two passions—people’s religion and their children. And it triggers protective feelings because of deep fears.

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Conservatives Counseling Gay or Lesbian Clients

Three recent federal circuit court decisions address how conservative Christian therapists may interact with homosexual clients in cases where personal beliefs may conflict with a duty of client care.  Despite different outcomes, there may be common principles. Schools and employers may not require therapists to change their religious convictions, but under the American Counseling Association (ACA) code of ethics, therapists may not impose values on their clients. Referrals can solve the problem, if done tactfully.

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Seven Lessons from Lawsuit over Sex Abuse Accusations

GavelA Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Rev. Jiang, was accused of sexually abusing a child. He denied having done it. The criminal case against Rev. Jiang was voluntarily dismissed by the prosecutor.

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